Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker traveled to Europe this week for economic development talks. Joining him on the trip are Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Emmanuel “Chris” Welch. The Governor and his team arrived in London on November 2nd for two days of meetings with business leaders discussing Illinois’ economic development opportunities and prospects for investment within the green energy economy. On November 5th, the Illinois delegation traveled to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow, Scotland where the Governor intends to share how Illinois is becoming a leader in the Midwest on climate action and clean energy.
Gun Violence: Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-29 which declares gun violence a public health crisis and launches a comprehensive, statewide approach to reducing gun violence and establishing the Reimagine program. The Executive Order requires relevant state agencies to work with the new Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to address the systemic causes of firearm violence and to develop trauma-informed and equity-based strategies. The Governor is dedicating $250 million over the next three years to implement the Reimagine Public Safety plan to prevent violence. Read more here.
Deputy Governor for Education Appointed: First Assistant Deputy Governor for Education, Martin V. Torres, was appointed by Governor Pritzker to serve as the Deputy Governor for Education.
“The Governor and I are focused on making Illinois the best state in the nation to raise children. Illinois students, now more than ever, need additional support to achieve their potential and pursue their dreams,” said Deputy Governor Martin V. Torres. “This administration is committed to changing the trajectory of students’ lives by expanding access to early care and education, bolstering the state’s investment in the k-12 funding, making college more affordable, and expanding pathways to emerging industries.”
Homelessness Chief Appointed: Christine Haley was appointed the State Homelessness Chief within the Department of Human Services. In this role, Haley will lead the State’s comprehensive effort to decrease homelessness in Illinois, improve outcomes for people who experience homelessness and strengthen the safety nets that contribute to housing stability. Haley will chair the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and co-chair the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness, as part of her work.
COVID-19 Update: The Illinois Department of Public Health formally adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for children ages 5 through 11 years to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement comes following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children on October 29, 2021.
Governor Pritzker received his COVID-19 booster shot and urged eligible residents to do the same. Pritzker who originally received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson shot, received the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.
Illinois health officials reported 4,267 new cases of COVID-19 which is the most new cases reported in a single day since early September and the first time new cases have topped 4,000 in a single day in more than a month. Note that officials also reported more than 150,000 new test results, the most in a single day since the beginning of October. Health officials also reported 28 deaths from the virus. As of Wednesday night, 1,246 individuals were hospitalized in Illinois. The 7-day case positivity rate rose to 2.2% after being below 2% for most of the past two week.
Gubernatorial Appointments:The Governor made the following appointments:
· Hipolito Roldán will serve as a member of the Capital Development Board.·
Gabriel Foley will serve as a member of the Children and Family Services Advisory Council.·
Sameer Vohra will continue to serve as a member of the State Board of Health.·
John Herrmann will continue to serve as a member of the State Board of Health.
2022 Election Update:
Democrat Maria Peterson, is running for the 26th District state Senate seat currently held by Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie. Peterson previously served as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor, litigating workplace safety violations. She also founded a fitness studio in North Barrington. Leader McConchie has not yet announced his reelection.
Republican State Representative Mark Batinick announced he is not seeking re-election. Batinick, who currently serves as the House Republican floor leader, was first elected in 2014.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned until the beginning of the 2022 Spring Session which commences on Tuesday, January 4th.
Senate President Harmon and House Speaker Welch have signaled they are interested in a “lighter” 2022 spring session as compared to 2021. While some are calling next year an “abbreviated” session, the number of scheduled session days actually remains consistent with previous years only condensed into a shorter timeframe. Adjournment is scheduled for April 8th, but it’s possible legislators will come back sometime at the end of May to finalize the state’s budget and any other outstanding issues.
The House Veterans’ Affairs, Human Services and Appropriations Human Services Committees will hold a joint subject matter hearing on November 9th at 10:00 am in the Bilandic Building in Chicago to discuss ways to address the gaps in health services for veterans.
The House Housing Committee will hold a hearing on November 12th at 1:00 pm in Virtual Room 1 to discuss ARP resources and housing homelessness.The House Housing Committee will hold a hearing on November 16th at 1:00 pm in Virtual Room 1 to discuss ARP resources and housing ownership.
The House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter Schools will hold a hearing on November 16th at 3: 00 pm in room 114 of the Capitol Budling to discuss exploring the impact of standardized testing on the education community and the future of standardized testing in Illinois.
The House Housing Committee will hold a hearing on November 30th at 1:00 pm in Virtual Room 1 to discuss ARP Resources & Housing regarding people facing barriers to housing.
Note that the deadline to file a request for bill drafting is January 7th in the Senate and January 14th in the House.